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Speculative fiction, because:

Reality is best seen from Elsewhere

To see something clearly, you often have to step away from it and look back.

Author peering at EarthWhere should you stand to get a better look at real life? A good book is a good vantage point. Stories set outside reality; such as speculative fiction, fantasy, and science fiction; give us the opportunity to look back at reality and see it differently. Sometimes social issues can be seen better when presented in a hypothetical form, free of the emotional baggage attached to their real-life counterparts. Sometimes the human condition can be seen better from a non-human viewpoint, or the viewpoint of someone who's not sure whether he's human or not, as in my novel Softlife.

That's one reason I set my stories "elsewhere." Another is simpler: it's a lot of fun. Nothing against reality, but I enjoy going elsewhere now and then. It's like taking a vacation somewhere I've never been. Thoughts and themes are important, but for me, telling a good story comes first.

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© 2017 James R. Hardin